Ummmmm, I’m a day late. That’s okay, my period will start this afternoon or tomorrow. It doesn’t. The next day I tell myself the same thing, that they will probably start this afternoon or tomorrow. Still nothing. So when I came to being 4 days late I decided I should drinking alcohol to play it safe. I’d never been this late before, could it really be? Don’t get too excited yet. We were away on holidays over the 2018 Christmas period when I first realised I might be pregnant, but it wasn’t until I got home and took 2 pregnancy tests did I start to actually believe that I might be pregnant. Both were positive. I ran into the living room to tell Roger and we both hugged and cried happy tears, what a wonderful way to start 2019.
I visited my doctor the next week and she told me I was roughly 4 weeks pregnant, she gave this estimation based on the first day of my last period. She went through a list of tests and appointments that would happen over the next 9 months, but I hardly heard a word of it. I was so excited. Luckily Roger was paying more attention that me and he asked lots of very sensible questions. Before we left the doctors office she reminded me that I still needed to get the biopsy done for my boob, as they wanted to check a few of the lumps in my left breast. Oh god, I hope they weren’t cancer. I tried to reassure myself that it would be fine, but it did make me a little nervous. Different scenarios were running round and round in my head but eventually I shut them out.
I didn’t feel that much different at the time but I was curious to know and learn as much as I could about being pregnant. A close friend suggested the Baby Centre App which is an Australian App that gives week by week, day by day articles and recipes about what I would be going through. It was really very helpful and I was thankful for the tip. Apparently the little one was the size of a poppy seed, and I read more about what foods I should try to avoid now. The fact I shouldn’t have sashimi or cold meats, or my favourite cheeses….. sigh, I don’t like to be fussy but I also don’t want to put the little one at risk. And coffee, only 200mg per day was a safe amount (or so I read) but I had no idea how much was in the coffee pods at home or the large cup from my local cafe, I would have to investigate.
Turns out that the coffee I was having each day was a safe amount, but in week 5 the smell of coffee made me feel sick. In fact, I felt nauseous most days now and every now and then I got sharp pains in my lower abdomen, plus I felt bloated and farty most afternoons (too much information? ha ha).
By week 6 the nausea was worse. I felt like a zombie who wanted to vomit but could never quite get the urge to finish the job. I felt like sleeping ALL the time and spent a lot of my spare time napping on the couch. I didn’t seem to be able to sleep much during the night though, I would wake up every hour or so and made more frequent visits to the toilet than normal. My body felt alien, like it was sucking the energy out of, but I kept pushing myself to keep working and keep moving, lowering the intensity of my gym and running sessions to accommodate. I had been told it was safe to keep training like normal, just not to try anything new. So I was just training when and if I felt okay. One of the other things they told me was to also keep my temperature down, which can be pretty hard to do when Sydney gets into the 40 degrees (celsius) bracket during Summer. At least it would be cooler for the latter part of my pregnancy, which was probably a very good thing.
By week 8 I had been sick a few times and taken a couple of days off work, I hated letting work down but there’s no way I could have stayed upright. The hardest part was trying to cover it up, my work colleagues knew what was going on but we weren’t going to make it public until we got to 12 weeks, as that’s when you get your first round of tests results back and the chances of miscarriage decrease dramatically. So my clients just thought I was a bit crazy and I’m sure perhaps a few of them caught on, although they never said anything.
Week 9 and 10 were much like the previous weeks, with the addition of some heartburn/indigestion after every meal, and the added bonus – constipation. Gee, this pregnancy business can be rough. I started a prenatal yoga class in week 10 and I really enjoyed it. I’d also been for an NIPT scan that same week and the results came back that everything was fine. I had also received the results from my biopsy and the results showed now cancer cells, yay!
The best part about week 10 was seeing our little bean for the first time during an ultrasound. I couldn’t believe how much it already looked like a little human, and we both had tears of happiness in our eyes seeing squirt up on the screen. Even its little arms were waving around as she did the scan. This was really happening!
Week 11 started really, really well as the nausea seemed to vanish – yay!! I felt more like my old self again and went for a run with my friend Robbo. I visited my folks with cronuts and wrote myself a new strength program to start during the week. Well the strength program didn’t happen, I did run though and I did lift some weights, just nothing programmed.
Week 12 I felt exhausted, bloated and very fat. I didn’t run at all during the week. I spent the weekend at the Husky Triathlon with dog and the4 Hoka crew, and had a lot of fun but came home even more tired. Luckily I decided to pull out of the Sprint race as there’s no way I could have pushed myself through that.
I had another thorough scan done in Week 13 and everything came back good. The baby is growing at a good rate, we heard the heart rate (and recorded it) which was a real treat!! Another milestone was wearing my first pair of maternity pants this week, as my gym tights are just not fitting around my stomach anymore, there’s no hiding it now! I also got a few dizzy spells and I think it was just due to low blood pressure. I got out for a couple of runs and did some strength work this week too. Yay!
The next few weeks were most of the same, clothes getting tighter and heartburn annoying me after most meals. We started telling more and more people about the bubba too, which is really nice not having to hide it anymore. We didn’t do the big social media thing till very, very late, as we preferred telling our close mates in person, it’s much more personal and seeing everyone’s happy reactions was worth it.
In week 19 we had another scan done and the baby was growing well. I also made the important decision to go private and we did a tour of Kareena Private Hospital. The head nurse was great and she helped us narrow down our list of which OBGYN to book, and I booked him first thing the next day. This was also my first week dropping back to part time, just 3 days a week now. As a full time personal trainer I felt I was overdoing things and slept every other waking moment (ha!), so now having an extra long weekend every weekend meant I could feel more on top of life and getting the rest I needed.
Week 20 started with an appointment to meet Dr Ian Simpson, my OBGYN and he was fantastic. Such a calming, nurturing, fun and knowledgeable man. We were both impressed and feel that we are in good hands. Also, none of my pants were fitting me now, so I did some online shopping with ASOS and CottonOn and hopefully when they arrive they will fit well.
Was that what I think it was? There is was again… are they kicks or movements from the baby? I think they are. It’s kind of like the pockets of air you feel when you have gas, but softer. There is goes again, wow! I grabbed Rogers hand and put it on my belly, “Did you feel that?”, he replied “Wow, yeah”. It was so exciting and lovely to be able to feel the baby moving around inside me, Week 21 sure was memorable for me!
The time flew through in weeks 22-29 and there’s really not much to report. I was training 3-4 times a week, obviously modifying lots of the exercises but feeling really good. I should mention that we went away for a long weekend in May when I was 25 weeks pregnant, and while Roger was doing some crazy mountain and altitude training I did the Mount Beauty Parkrun, where I managed to be 1st female (out of 3) and 7th overall.
We also spent my birthday together hiking up to the top of Mount Bogong, and when we got to the top there was not one other sole to be seen. It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had, so many laughs and Rog is always my favourite companion.
Then is was Week 30 and the movements and kicks never seemed to stop for long, it’s going to be a very active baby. We had our first Antenatal class at the hospital this week which was all about the different stages of labour, it was so informative and good to know exactly what to expect once junior is ready to join us out here. Roger and I also bought some of the major items for the baby including a cot, car seat, pram and monitor. It was good to get some of these major items as I don’t want to be rushing around last minute when we get back from holidays. We went to see the doctor again this week to have some final checks before flying to the USA and he gave me the all clear. Yay!!
I was in my 31st week and time seemed to be flying by, I’d already had my last work day before holidays and maternity leave. It felt a bit strange having no set work date to come back to, as I’ve never had a break (aside from holidays) since I was a teenager. But I was very much looking forward to our trip. I also felt my first Braxton Hicks pain while I was hanging out some washing, it felt like a strong period pain cramp and I hunched over a little till it subsided, which was about 10-15 seconds.
During weeks 32-34 we had an amazing trip to the USA you can read about it via the below links:
In Week 35 I was still on a high from our recent trip and aside from feeling huge, I actually felt like I had more energy. I went to the gym 3 times and was feeling good.
Week 36 began with our Baby Shower and I had so many wonderful friends and family spoil me on the day. I had the food catered by my friend Melissa (Honest Nutrition) and everyone commented on how amazing it was. It was a wonderful day and I felt very loved.
In Week 37 we walked my 13th City2Surf and I surprised myself that I wasn’t too slow after all. I got lots of comments and cheers along the way too. At one point I was busting for the toilet but all of the porte-loos had huge lines. Thankfully a lovely lady gave me access to her gym toilet as I think she could see I was busting, people were so kind and we had a great day! We had another scan with the Doctor and saw the baby’s lunges, they were moving well and getting ready to work once we met the little pumpkin out here. I rested as I felt tired again this week, no gym for me unfortunately. But we did buy a new reclining couch for the front living area and it was so good I fell asleep on it twice.
By Week 38 I noticed the movement and kicks were getting stronger and stronger. I was also getting more and more bored. I used the extra time to clean cupboards and throw out old items, I think they call this the ‘nesting’ phase.
In Week 39 I got pains going down the inside of legs which was really unpleasant. I was going to the toilet ALL DAY, cleaning bathrooms, and feeling very fat. I felt huge and exhausted and wished I could run/train and fit back into my ‘old’ clothes, the maternity style is just not me. I wished the baby would come early, I was getting impatient, and I was dying to meet him/her….
Week 40 was much the same as the previous week, however I had my first contraction at 10.30pm on my due date. At the time I wasn’t sure what it was. I was sitting on the couch and we were about to go to bed, there was this uncomfortable period-like pain that came and went quickly. At this stage of the pregnancy you’re constantly thinking “Is this is?”, “Is this the start of labour?” so you’re kind of high alert for any movement or pain within your body. I drifted off to sleep pretty quickly, but was woken about an hour later with what I describe as ‘Intense period pain’, this was definitely a contraction.
Roger was up out of bed ready to help. It didn’t last long, maybe 20-30 seconds and then went away as if nothing had happened. I got back into bed and we chatted about timing the breaks in-between before I drift3ed of to sleep again.
About a hour later I had another contraction and it was much stronger. We had been told not to come to the hospital until the contractions were about 5 minutes apart, so we knew we had plenty of time. Roger gave the hospital a call to check we were doing the right thing and again I went back to bed to try and get some sleep. Another hour passed and along came another contraction, I had to stand up and lean on the bedside table to take the pressure off my spine, as it was unbearable to be sitting/laying down during the contraction. When the contraction stopped I packed the last few items into my hospital bag so it would be ready to go when we finally left for hospital.
At some point there contractions went from 1 hour to 30mins and the nurse at the hospital suggested I have a shower and try to relax and get some rest at home while I could. Roger was adorable, he playing the excited/nervous father role so well, and I felt so lucky to have him by my side. After another contraction I jumped in the shower and felt the warm water comfort my skin. Then a stronger contraction came only minutes after the last one, they were now 5 minutes apart. It was go time.
It was about 5.00am when I got out of the shower. Rog rang the hospital to tell them we were on our way. I dressed in comfortable clothes, Rog fed the dogs, and then we packed the car and headed for the hospital. I was super excited and oh so bloody nervous. How long would my labour be? Would it be painful? Would I need to take the drugs? Would it be a girl or a boy? The only thing I knew was that I wanted whatever was best for bubs and my health, to come home happy and with a healthy little baby.
We arrived at the hospital and they wheeled me up to the maternity ward where they put me in a private room and hooked some sensors unto my belly to monitor the contractions and the baby’s heart. I was not allowed to get up and walk around while they monitored this, which was really uncomfortable during the contractions, like I said before it was more comfortable to stand, but I just had to make do and kind of rolled to the side whenever a contraction came on.
The Doctor arrived about an hour or so later and he assessed me. I was about 6cm dilated but the baby had not yet dropped down and was facing the wrong direction. He suggested that we wait for a couple of hours to see if the baby would move into position. The baby’ heart rate was steady and I was doing okay, however he did suggest that I have the epidural to help eliminate the pain, as he said there was no point me being in pain if I didn’t need to be. So I opted for the epidural and the nurse went off to organise.
Roger and I waiting and chatted nervously about what was to come. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and I watched the numbers go up and up on the monitor beside me, as I felt each contraction. About an hour or so later the doctor who was putting in the epidural arrived and began the process. I was very nervous, I didn’t really like needles, but thankfully I couldn’t see the needle and I really did not feel much during the process. About 20 minutes after the epidural I was relaxed and couldn’t feel the contractions at all. I watched the numbers on the monitor go up and up, even higher than they had before, yet I felt none of it. It was a bit of a relief, and I rested on the hospital bed as much as is possible when you’re excited and nervous.
Dr Simpson came back a few hours after his first visit and did another assessment. I was 9cm dilated but the baby had still not moved down into position. The nurse had also been keeping an eye on the baby’s heart rate as it had been starting to drop quite low during the stronger contractions I was now having. And while the doctor was there the baby’s heart rate dropped nervously low and they had to massage my belly to move the baby around which triggered the heart rate to come back up again. I could tell my doctor was getting a bit nervous. Dr Simpson said that he wanted to get the baby out via emergency cesarean now, because of the distress the baby seemed to be having. We agreed. The doctor went off to prepare for surgery and the nurses got me ready too.
I was wheeled into the surgery and the doctor who had given me the epidural was there to give me some more anaesthetic for the surgery. He reacted himself a few times to make sure I understood what he was saying but I cannot remember what he said (ha).
Oh my gosh, this was it. We were finally going to meet our baby. I burst into tears, I was so nervous and happy and overcome with emotions. I’ve never felt so many emotions all at once, it was overwhelming, in a good way. Rog was dressed inscribes and firmly holding my hand. We both smiled and cried as we spent those last few minutes together as just the two of us. It would soon be three…..!
The blue sheet went up so we couldn’t see what was happening down below and before I knew it we heard the first cries of our baby. The baby was alive and breathing and HERE! Dr Simpson held the baby up over the blue sheet, it was a girl and she had a dark mane of hair that took me by surprise. She was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. There was more crying, so many happy tears.
Rog kissed my forehead and then he went with the nurses to do all the checks on the baby, 10 fingers and toes, good colour, good responses etc. and he also got to cut the umbilical cord. She was then wrapped up and brought back to me where she laid on my shoulder/arm and he crossed and kissed her for the first time. I’m crying so much now even as I remember this moment, she has brought so much happiness to our world. We spent a long while with her there on my shoulder, just the three of us, and I knew right then and there my life would be forever changed for the better.
Rog and our little girl where then taken aside to spend some daddy-daughter skin-to-skin time while I was taken into recovery. All I could think about was getting back to my girl and my man, and it felt like time passed two slowly. The recovery nurses gave me the best icy pole ever and eventually I was taken to my room to see my girl again.
She was tiny. She had (surprisingly) thick, dark hair. She was soft. She was quiet.
She was perfect.
I so enjoyed reading your story. Enjoy your little one. They are little for such a small window of time!
Thank you so much. We are enjoying our time with her so much already, she’s the best kid!
This was beautiful Hails, I’m so happy for you!